Nigeria's Leon Balogun ruled out for eight weeks

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Lagos
Nigeria defender Leon Balogun on crutches

Nigeria defender Leon Balogun will be sidelined for at least eight weeks after fracturing his right foot in Wednesday's friendly against Mexico.

The 25-year-old replaced the injured Efe Ambrose at half-time, but his debut was cut short under five minutes after he collided with an advertising board.

After a futile effort to play on Balogun had to be substituted in the 65th minute of the 0-0 daw.

Balogun will have surgery in Germany, where he plays for Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Nigeria team media officer Ben Alaiya told BBC Sport: "The Super Eagles doctor Ibrahim Gyaran has recommended the player undergoes immediate surgery in Germany.

"His German club and medics have been notified. We are optimistic that a quick surgery and recovery will enable him rejoin the team ahead of preparation for the World Cup in May if invited."

The German second division side said in a statement that Balogun was diagnosed in Atlanta after the game as having suffered a broken metatarsal, but Dusseldorf head coach Lorenz-Gunther Kostner says they will carry out a further examination.

"Leon reacted professionally to his injury and informed me by telephone immediately on the facts," Kostner told the club's official website.

"We expect Leon back in Dusseldorf on Friday morning and he will be examined again for us to get a 100% certainty about the extent of his injury. We all hope that Leon is well soon and wish him a speedy recovery."

The injury setback has not dampened the player's spirit as he told reporters after the match that he was proud of his involvement.

"Of course I imagined my first international game differently, but I'm still glad and proud that I was able to play for the first time for Nigeria," he said.

"I must now wait and see the medical investigation. But I'm confident that I'll get back on my feet in a quick time."

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